Going for their first sweep in Atlanta since 1988, the Giants outhit the Braves 9-3 on Thursday, yet lost 3-2 anyway.
All three Braves hits went for extra bases: Freddie Freeman and David Ross homered off Madison Bumgarner, while Michael Bourn delivered an RBI triple after a Pablo Sandoval error put Paul Janish on base.
Tim Hudson won for the Braves, moving him to 5-2 with a 2.92 ERA in eight starts since the beginning of June. Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth for his major league-high 28th save.
The Giants won the first two games of the series at Turner Field, 9-0 and 9-4. Had they won again today, it would have been their first sweep in Atlanta since June 27-29, 1988. Candy Maldonado and Dale Murphy were the cleanup hitters in that series, and batting fifth for the Braves was Ken Griffey Sr. The Giants’ Will Clark hit his NL-leading 19th homer in the finale of the series.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.